Roskomnadzor, Russia’s communications regulator, announced it would block Facebook.
“Since October 2020, 26 cases of discrimination against Russian media and information resources by Facebook have been recorded,” the agency explained.
The agency wrote Facebook has restricted access to accounts: the Zvezda TV channel, the RIA Novosti news agency, Sputnik, Russia Today, the Lenta.ru and Gazeta.ru information resources.
It said Facebook’s “discrimination against Russian state media outlets” is the reason behind the ban.
⚡️ Russia bans Facebook.
Roskomnadzor, a Russian government censorship agency, cited Facebook’s “discrimination against Russian state media outlets” as the reason for the ban.
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 4, 2022
Meta’s president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, responded to the ban in a statement.
“Soon millions of ordinary Russians will find themselves cut off from reliable information, deprived of their everyday ways of connecting with family and friends and silence from speaking out,” Clegg wrote.
He added, “We will continue to do everything we can to restore our services so they remain available to people to safely and securely express themselves and organize for action.”
On the Russian government's decision to block access to Facebook in the Russian Federation: pic.twitter.com/JlJwIu1t9K
— Nick Clegg (@nickclegg) March 4, 2022
The Associated Press noted big tech platforms are working to keep Russian state media from using platforms to spread propaganda and misinformation.
Katie Harbath, a former public policy director for Facebook, weighed in on the efforts.
“They’re trying to walk this very fine line; they’re doing this dance,” Harbath said, adding, “We want to stand up to Russia, but we also don’t want to get shut down in the country. How far can we push this?”
Alexandra Givens, CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology, told the outlet she acknowledges the platforms “are a way for dissidents to organize and push back.”
She continued, “The clearest indication of that is the regime has been trying to shut down access to Facebook and Twitter.”
According to NBC News, the agency has restricted access to Voice of America, Radio Liberty, and other media outlets based in foreign countries.
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